Dawkins and Krauss pompously discuss “Something from Nothing”

This video of biologist Richard Dawkins and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss discussing the topic of “Something from Nothing” was published while I was out of town.

I’ve been meaning to post it, but haven’t personally had the time to watch it. I’ve got it running in the background today as I’m photo editing.

If I were someone who doubted evolution and physics regarding this topic, I would hope I would watch something like this. The issue is that (especially) Dawkins is demonized and hated by believers. So if you were a believer watching this video, you might find yourself grinding your teeth while watching.

If that’s the case, I hope you can get past that.

I put “pompous” in the header, because (1) I’m snarky and (2) that’s the way it can be construed. However, it’s well worth a watch (or listen).

I find believers who accept evolution admirable. But the great majority of believers — especially in America — don’t accept evolution or the Big Bang. But I have hope.

Whether you accept it or not, I hope you give this video a whirl.



Siegel: Can you get something for nothing?

Over at Starts with a Bang, one of my favorite science bloggers Ethan Siegel posted a great article that PZ Myers picked up last week. I kept thinking I already reposted it here, but a quick search seems to show me that I didn’t.

So here’s the link for a great explanation from a ginormous-brained theoretical astrophysicist how science shows that something came from nothing.

And by something, I mean the universe, and by nothing, I mean the space between your ears.

Here’s a little excerpt to whet your whistle:

For example, take a box and empty it, so that all you’ve got is some totally empty space, like above. An ideal, perfect, empty vacuum. Now, what’s in that box?


Did you guess nothing? Well, it turns out that empty space isn’t so empty.

One of the consequences of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle — that you can’t know a quantum state’s energy exactly for a finite duration of time — means that when you’re talking about very short time intervals, there are large uncertainties in the energy of a system. Over short enough timescales, the energies are large enough that particle-antiparticle pairs wink in-and-out of existence all the time!